Papillon's Turtle Rescue Programm
Everybody who hears the words Turtle and Restaurant always thinks the Turtle gets killed and cooked. It is true that there are many restaurants in the Dominican Republic still serving Turtle meat as a speciality but not in the Le Papillon Restaurant!
As an old school scuba diver and naturalist I don’t fear the work and costs to save as many Turtles as possible. The common Turtles around here are greenshell and the hawksbill Turtle and some can not blame the fisherman who when ever he sees a Turtle tries to catch it to feed his family from the money he makes selling it . Whenever I get offered a Turtle and I think it is able to survive I buy it, cure it and then it gets released in a as safe as possible place. Usually they are shot with a spear gun in the weak part of the body and if the wound is not to deep it gets cured with antibiotic cream and heals in a couple of weeks.
When I arrived here over 20 years ago one could see Turtles all the time, even when you where sitting on the beach and watching the sea. Now you are lucky to see one if you go scuba diving. After being offered a lot of wounded Turtles in the Restaurant I decided to build a big aquarium and save at least some of them. Thanks to some whalewatching tours I am able to get them to the Silverbanks sanctuary and over there is no fisherman looking for Turtles and a very good environment for them to survive.
It is quite an expensive hobby but if I see a Turtle during a scuba dive and think that it might be one of my rescued ones it is worth every penny.You can support my Turtle Release Program very easy just by having a nice dinner in the Le Papillon Restaurant!
Click here for the Turtle Photo Gallery